Victoria has become the first state to introduce an Indigenous briefing policy, aimed at addressing the under-representation of Indigenous Australians in legal practice.
Members of the legal profession, including in-house counsel and barristers' clerks, are being encouraged to adopt the new briefing policy drawn up by the Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar.
Victorian Bar Chairman John Digby QC said the legal profession should reflect the diversity of the Australian population.
"We currently have three Indigenous barristers on the bar roll - which is nowhere near enough," he said. "But we must ensure they have as much chance as any barrister to maintain practice - and that means getting briefs."
The policy requires a "genuine consideration" of Indigenous barristers and solicitors for briefings. The policy is similar to those introduced to support the progression of women lawyers at the bar, including listings on the Victorian Bar website and the annual LIV Legal directory.
LIV President Danny Barlow outlined the policy's goal: "This sends a signal that we are serious about wanting to encourage Indigenous participation at all levels of the law," he said.
"There is much more work to be done, but we want to make the law an attractive career option for all Australians," Barlow said.
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